Category Archives: Travel

Abigail was blue with white stripes and I adored her

By Keith Pereña

There is something spiritual about naming things. It’s a sign that objects are not just possessions. They carry with them a significance, they become a part of the family. I’ve named a couple of things: Lorraine and Catherine are my two guitars. In a way, it also extends to things I don’t have yet, things I hope to own one day. It’s akin to a man’s pursuit of the woman of his dreams. That’s where Abigail comes in. Continue reading Abigail was blue with white stripes and I adored her

Where my new-found zeal for New Zealand came from

A blue knit hat with pink pompons? Scores, no hundreds of Kiwis or Fernies are making hats, booties and baby clothes — and then locating appropriate drop-off points to donate the gifts for needy children. Why this national obsession/ diversion/ pastime? Well, the #KnitForJacinda movement has taken off because New Zealand’s 37 year-old prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, and her partner are expecting their first child.

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A single day in Lviv turned out to be a kind of homecoming

By Keith Pereña

It has been three months, two weeks and six days since I took a six-hour train ride to Lviv — a city in the western part of Ukraine. I’m writing this now in my house in Dubai, all while browsing through photos of the one day that I was in that city. There are little reminders of it everywhere — a bar of chocolate from the city’s famous chocolate factory sits inside the fridge, the train ticket from Kyiv to Lviv is plastered inside my journal, and every now and then, a message from one of the souls I met there pops up on my phone. Continue reading A single day in Lviv turned out to be a kind of homecoming

What Manila’s antique stores and bookshops can tell us

By Keith Pereña

Dusty. It was what I remember most as I shuffled through row upon row of vinyl records from the ’60s at a store appropriately called ‘Vinyl Dump’. While I don’t own a record player, scrounging through vinyl records and diving inside antique dust pits has been a habit that I picked up as a university student back in the Philippines. That is why when I came home during Christmas last year, visiting the Cubao Expo was part of the itinerary. Continue reading What Manila’s antique stores and bookshops can tell us

I got boxed by the Japanese art of Bento

By Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli

You have to give it to the Japanese for their exquisite taste in food and total devotion to the craft. No wonder they are often in the news for their willingness to spend on food and going the extra mile to ensure freshness, richness and aesthetic appeal on their plate. Remember Kiyoshi Kimura, the owner of a Japanese sushi restaurant chain, who spends an awful amount at the Tsukiji fish market every year? An eye-watering $1.8 million for bluefin in 2013; and $636,000 in January this year for his restaurant, all to ensure that his customers get to eat the best.

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A journey to the refugee camp changed my life

By Sherouk Zakaria

On a hustling Sunday afternoon in April, my former boss — now a good friend — rang me. “There’s a press trip to Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, and I’m pitching in your name,” I heard him say on the line. He had known that last year, four of my scheduled press trips to Europe got cancelled due to delayed visa issues, and he had caught my passion for writing refugee-related stories.

Continue reading A journey to the refugee camp changed my life